“All the leaves are brown, and the skies
I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day.”
Mamas and Papas, 1965
In 1965, when that song came out, California epitomized the American Dream. Surf, sand, sun, and mountains,
it was where everyone wanted to be. Hollywood, Carmel, San Fran, and magnificent LA. Breadbasket to the world. Home to movies and the aerospace industry. Banker to the West and the emerging Pacific Rim. Get rich in beautiful surroundings; and even if you fail, you won’t freeze to death. Opportunities abound. If you can’t make it in California, you can’t make it anywhere.
What the hell happened?
California now has about 14% of the nation’s populace and about 35% of its welfare recipients. Somewhere between 30% and 50% of the country’s illegal aliens live here, depending on which survey you read. We’re awash in a sea of red ink and have been for years. First under Schwarzenegger and now under Brown, the governors and their cohorts in Sacramento have been pushing for tax increases to address a multi-billion-dollar annual deficit. According to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office report (here), “The budget problem consists of a $6 billion projected deficit for 2010–11 and a $19 billion gap between projected revenues and spending in 2011–12.”
I’d say that “gap” is quite a “problem”, all right. As a matter of fact, according to that same report, “Similar to our forecast of one year ago, we project annual budget problems of about $20 billion each year through 2015–16.”
In other words, there’s no end in sight for the fiscal disaster that is the State of California.
For quite a while now, we’ve been bombarded with threats of curtailed services if tax increases aren’t enacted: reductions in police and fire protection; closing of parks and libraries; shortened service hours at the DMV. Felons are already being released early from prisons because we don’t have the money to build more. Brown has repeatedly called for a ballot proposition to increase taxes, which if passed would then presumably indemnify him and his allies from the political consequences of a tax increase because the electorate would have voted it onto themselves.
Yet somehow, in the midst of this fiscal hurricane, Brown and his leftist buddies in Sacramento found the money to provide taxpayer dollars to illegal aliens so they can go to college.
On the 8th of October – a Saturday, a day on which most people don’t pay attention to the news – Brown signed into law the California DREAM Act Part 2, which provides government subsidies – “financial aid” – to illegal aliens to attend college. He evidently hoped this would slide by unnoticed.
We allegedly don’t have money for cops or firefighters or to keep felons in prison, but we sure have enough to pay illegals to attend college. According to Brown, "The Dream Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us."
How so? Assuming they graduate from college, all you’ll have is a batch of well-educated people who will still be illegal aliens. It will still be illegal for them to work in this country.
This is exactly the kind of nonsense that has driven this state to its current bankrupt condition. And when Brown and his cohorts try to go back to the well with their next effort to increase taxes, this is going to come back and haunt them like the Sleepy Hollow ghost.